Power and Glory is long awaited album #6 for British metal masters Stairway, and marks a six-year wait since their last excellent effort Interregnum. For the uninitiated, Stairway follow the traditional, or true metal path, with a nod to past NWOBHM greats. The band gained some notoriety with their 1993 debut No Rest, No Mercy and inclusion in the White Metal Warriors compilation of the same era, but has remained criminally underrated on these shores ever since.
The English trio unleash a tight and aggressive sound on the listener this time around, with amazing fretwork, melodic vocals and BGV’s, intelligent lyrics, and a fantastic cover art of the 2nd Coming by Rodney Matthews. “Lucy Fuhr” with its quirky phrasing and “A Mind Insane” hit the listener full force with metal fury, while the instrumentals “Overture 1418” and “Interlude 23” set the mood for successful domination. “Sun of Malachi” is the stunning 16 minute monster that anchors the whole album. It stands head to head with the longer progressive metal pieces of modern era Iron Maiden and is a headphone mandatory experience. “Across the Moon” closes the album on a sentimental note.
The only trivial thing that tarnished my listening experience at all were some supersonic keyboards during “Reason Why” that teased at the very edge of my upper hearing range and distracted from the rest of the savory meal. Power and Glory is a powerful slab of classic metal from a band that needs to be heard. Find Stairway music in the USA at christianmetaldistro.com or cdbaby.com. (indie) – Chris Gatto 4 out of 5 stars